- 06 Jul 2022
- 5 Minutes to read
Guide to sorting and record order
- Updated on 06 Jul 2022
- 5 Minutes to read
While in a view, you can sort your records so that they appear in a particular order according to the values in specific fields. Sorting your records in one view doesn't affect the order of records in other views—it just applies to the view you're currently using to look at your table.
Pro and Enterprise plan users who want to take extra precautions to ensure that the sorts they use won't get accidentally changed can lock views, which will prevent all collaborators from altering a view's configuration until it's been unlocked by someone with creator permissions.
Applying, removing, and reordering sorts
To apply a sort to your view, click the sort button in the view bar. This will bring up the sort menu. If your view has any sorts applied already, you'll see them here; otherwise, you'll see a message informing you that no sorts are applied to the current view.
To apply a new sort, click the Pick a field to sort by dropdown and then select a field from the dropdown menu. To make it easier to find the field you'd like to use to sort, you can also type in the search bar.
You can add more sorts by picking more fields to sort by from the dropdown menu. You can remove any of the sorts you've applied by clicking the X button next to a sort, or reorder the sorts by using the drag handles.
How different sorts work
Different field types can be sorted in different ways. Note that in almost all cases, sorting in ascending order will place blank values first.
Text field types, like single line text fields, long text fields, or formula fields that return text, can be sorted in alphabetical (A → Z) or reverse alphabetical order (Z → A). Airtable uses natural sort order for text, so multi-digit numbers in text fields are ordered as single characters. For example, this means that the value "z2" would be sorted before "z11" because 2 is sorted as smaller than 11. Attachment fields can also be sorted alphabetically or reverse alphabetically by the file name.
Numerical field types, like number and duration, can be sorted in ascending numerical order (1 → 9) or descending numerical order (9 → 1). Rating fields can also be sorted in ascending numerical order or descending numerical order.
Date and time fields can use ascending order (1 → 9), which is from the earliest date to the latest date, or descending order (9 → 1), which is from the latest date to the earliest date.
Checkbox fields can be sorted by whether or not the box has been checked, so either (▢ → ✓) or the reverse, (✓ → ▢).
Single and multiple select fields are sorted according to the order of the options in the field's customization menu, either (First → Last) or (Last → First). If you're sorting on a single or multiple field, you can change the order in which records are being sorted by going to that field's customization menu (where you can alphabetize the options, if you'd like).
Automatic and manual view sorting
By default, when you create a new view, it'll have the Keep sorted toggle turned on.
If this toggle is turned on, records will automatically sort themselves if a change occurs to a record that would cause it to be ordered differently according to the sort(s). You will not be able to manually reorder records using the record drag handles.
In grid view, if the Keep sorted toggle is on, all fields on which sorts are being applied (and the sort menu button) will have a pale orange background to make it obvious that automatic sorting is happening on that field.
If the toggle is turned off, records will only sort themselves when a sort has been re-applied, and you can manually reorder records to your liking using the record drag handles. Turning off the Keep sorted toggle will cause an Apply button to appear in the sort menu. You can quickly open up the sort menu with the keyboard shortcut , then press Enter to apply the sort.
Sorting in different view types
Sorting in grid view
In grid view, sorting will change the order in which the records (rows) appear. The first-ordered record will appear in the first row of the table, the second-ordered record will appear in the second row of the table, and so on.
If the Keep sorted toggle is turned on and your grid view has grouped records, you can click and drag to move records between groups, but you will be unable to manually reorder records within a group.
If the Keep sorted toggle is turned on and your grid view does not have grouped records, you will not be able to manually reorder records at all.
Sorting in gallery view
In gallery view, cards will be sorted first left to right, then top to bottom. If the Keep sorted toggle is turned on, you will not be able to manually reorder the cards in the gallery by clicking and dragging them.
Sorting in calendar view
In calendar view, sorting will reorder records with the same date on the calendar, and will reorder records in the record list sidebar.
Sorting in kanban view
In kanban view, sorting will determine the order or cards within stacks. If the Keep sorted toggle is turned on, you will be able to move cards between stacks; however, you will be unable to manually reorder cards within stacks.
Sorting behavior from a view share link
If you create a view share link to provide access to a view to non-collaborators, the sorting criteria applied to the view will persist in the shared view. However, viewers will have the option to change any sorting criteria (as well as other view configuration options) - this will only affect how they view the records made available to them via the view share link, and not adjust any of the view configuration options in your table.